Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pisces Fish for Black Pete


Conversations between Black Pete and fellow blogger RJ, as well as others, inspired this post. (Black Pete and RJ have an amazing blogs and you can find their links right here on my sidebar.) They have been discussing the Beatles and their evolving and changing connections to the Fab Four. I, for one, always liked McCartney the best. I know that Lennon was the driving force behind starting the Beatles and his issues also tore them apart. Lennon was an enigma at best, but I agree that the "quiet Beatle," George Harrison was under-appreciated by many. I think he was the one Beatle who TRULY embraced and communicated a spiritual sensitivity in his music right to the very end of his life! The word genuine comes to mind. I have read many articles in Rolling Stone about Harrison's kindness and generosity. He had many guitars and was known to give them away! Here is a review of his last Album which he recorded while he was fighting cancer and was completed with help from his son after he died....

George Harrison went quiet not long after the second Traveling Wilburys album, surfacing only for the Beatles' Anthology in the mid-'90s. He was recording all the while, yet he died before completing the album that would have been the follow-up to 1987's Cloud Nine. His son, Dhani, and his longtime friend/collaborator Jeff Lynne completed the recordings, released late in 2002, nearly a year after George's death, as Brainwashed. Given its baggage it's easy to be suspicious about the merits of Brainwashed prior to hearing it. Posthumous efforts often feel incomplete, Harrison's albums were frequently inconsistent, and Lynne favors ornate, cinematic productions that run contrary to George's desire for this project to be simple and low key -- nothing that would suggest that Brainwashed would be a success. Defying all odds, Brainwashed isn't just a success, it's one of the finest records Harrison ever made. No, it doesn't achieve the splendor of All Things Must Pass, nor is it quite of its time like both Living in the Material World and Cloud Nine were, but it's a quiet, subtle gem, one that strikes close to the heart of Harrison's music. It's intimate, alternately insightful and cheerfully lightweight, balancing his trademark black humor with silliness and good humor. Anyone searching the album for his views on mortality -- as he faced not only cancer, but an attacker that nearly took his life -- will surely find it, but this is not a somber album, it is a warm album, the sound of someone enjoying life without losing his wry sense of humor. This same spirit carries over to the music, with Harrison abandoning the idea of getting a hit and simply relaxing, primarily by playing a lot of ukulele and guitar. There aren't any major songs here and perhaps a tune or two could be pegged as throwaways by the cynical, but there are no down moments and it all holds together well -- better than most Harrison albums -- and it's a fitting way to say goodbye, every bit as good as Double Fantasy and, in some respects, even sweeter. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Here is a song, Pisces Fish..

And the lyrics..

Rowers gliding on the river
Canadian geese crap along the bank
Back wheel of my bike begins to quiver
The chain is wrapped around the crank

Old ladies, who must be doggie training
Walking, throwing balls, chasing all the sheep
While the farmer stands around, and he’s complaining
His mad cows are being put to sleep
I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul

Smoke signals from the brewery
Like someone in there found the latest Pope
In a vat of beer that keeps pumping out with fury
While the church bell ringer’s tangled in his rope

But there’s a temple on an island
I think of all the Gods and what they feel
You can only find them in the deepest silence
I’ve got to get off of this big wheel

I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul
I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul

And I’ll be swimming until I can find those waters
That’s the one unbounded ocean of bliss
That’s flowing through your parents, sons and daughters
But still an easy thing for us to miss

Blades go skimming through the water
I hear the coxswain shouting his instructions about
With this crew oh, it could be a tall order
Have we time to sort all these things out?

Sometimes my life it feels like fiction
Some of the days it’s really quite serene
I’m a living proof of all life’s contradictions
One half’s going where the other half’s just been

And I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul
I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul
I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul


  1. I an deeply honoured by this, Steve. Never knew of that song, but is one of those that says so much more than its sum of music and lyric. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    And yes, Canadian Geese crap--all over the place! ;)

  2. This is an important but overlooked album. As it was left "incomplete" it is still raw but very, very beautiful and insightful. I have an interview with George shortly before his death in which he wrestles with both his English Catholic background and his Eastern spirituality. Mostly he concludes that there are important places of intersection... good stuff, man. Thanks.